Last week we talked about what your kids need from you, but what do YOU need? As men, we often overlook our own needs and replace them with the needs of others. We’re the protectors and the providers, but we also have to pour into ourselves what we’re giving out or we’ll feel intense burnout. Self-care is a popular trend among women and what works for them can be modified to work for us, too. Notice, modified. We’re not telling you to go to the spa (unless that’s your thing - no shame in a good massage, bro), but we are going to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Check out these ideas for the best self-care tips for us:
Self-Care Tips for Men:
Eat healthy: pack your lunch bag with healthy foods and snacks. Do your best to keep your body nourished with things that will make you feel whole and alive, not processed junk that just brings you down. What they say about food is true: you are what you eat, and you need to be at your best all the time to keep up with the demands of your family.
Exercise: get out on the trails, man! No matter if you’re walking, jogging, carrying your kid on your shoulders, or sprinting as fast as you can, you have to get out there. Exercise is the best thing you can do to clear your mind and be ready for whatever comes your way. I know sometimes when we’re extra tired, it’s the last thing we want to do, but think of it like any other commitment. You have to do it to stay on top of your game for your family, and for yourself. You got this.
Guy time: there’s nothing like bonding with your brothers, especially other dads. Spend time engaging with other guys with similar life goals and commiserate - I mean, connect. Share the best parts of your week and the worst parts. You’re not alone in the fight, brother.
Hobbies: I have a best guy friend who loves making music. He produces it, plays guitar and piano, sometimes even sings. My hobby is the gym. I love feeling stronger every time I go and working hard on myself. Some guys like making models of the planes they fly and the cars they would like to own one day. Whatever takes you out of your world and takes your mind off life for a little bit is good for your attitude and your mindset.
Practice good hygiene: bro, you smell. Take a shower, but also wash your face. Get deep into your beard with that good beard wash, oil it up (an appropriate amount), use some extra body wash in the shower, and get your hair lookin’ right. Your mind space works better when your living space is working for you, so clean your room while you’re at it. Keep up with this by taking an extra long shower and taking the time to clean better at least once a week. Feeling good sometimes starts on the outside and works its way in.
Journal: keeping a journal is one of the best self-care tips we have for you. Releasing your mind and your thoughts into a journal is a simple form of letting go of the thoughts in your mind. If you keep them in your head, it gets totally overwhelming and hard to manage. Allow yourself the time to journal, reflect, or just jot down a list of things you need to get out of your head. You don’t have to keep a formal journal, either. You can just write these things down in the notes app on your phone, scribble it down on a scrap piece of paper, or even use a voice recorder and talk it out. It’s
Meditate: grounding yourself and taking the time to clear your mind does absolute wonders. Meditation may sound like something you’re not into, but really it can be as simple as sitting, closing your eyes, and just doing nothing for a set amount of time. Start with five minutes and work your way up to ten. You spend your whole life plugged in, connected to either your phone, your work, or your family. It’s important to unplug and spend time not thinking or doing, even just for a little bit. Try using some easy breathing techniques (the box method is our favorite – breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds…repeat a few times until you feel more at ease). Feel free to Google another technique called…
“4-7-8 breathing”, we like that one too.
How to Be the Best for Yourself
Your families need you to be on your best game, all the time. To do that, you need to feel it, too. Take time for yourself, get to know yourself, and spend time with yourself doing the things you love to do. Your family (and you!) will love you more for it. What did you do for self-care this week? Head over to our Facebook or Instagram and let us know!
We all know healthy, balanced snacks are an important part of childhood development but no one ever tells us that the same healthy snacks are great for adults! Snacks that are balanced are high in protein, carbohydrates (the good kind), and healthy fats.
As a new parent, it’s hard to choose from the huge amount of options we’re given for almost everything our babies need. From food, to diapers and wipes, to toys and developmental products… it’s impossible to decide what the “best” product will be for you and your family. Diapering is an essential part of having a new baby. Whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers, we’re here to help narrow down the search - with your help! A few months back, we posted on our Instagram asking whether you use cloth or disposable diapers. We got some great feedback from our commenters and included it here. Make sure you’re following along with us over there. We really do listen to you and your suggestions.
So often, parents get stuck in the rut of providing only the necessities. We all know our kids need food, water, and shelter and, for most of us, those are usually simple things to give; even when planning dinner seems really hard, it’s never thehardest part of parenting.